Judge Denies Youth Soccer Challenge to Super Bowl 50

Soccer goal (Alexander Mueller / Associated Press)
Alexander Mueller / Associated Press

On Tuesday, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Joseph H. Huber refused to block the city of Santa Clara from letting the NFL use the Santa Clara Youth Soccer League’s 11-acre soccer park for a “media village” during Super Bowl 50.

The soccer league initially sued Santa Clara to block the use of the property, but last week Huber would not issue a temporary restraining order. The soccer league persisted by including the NFL in another request, which Huber denied on Tuesday, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Steve Robertson, vice president of the Santa Clara Youth Soccer League, who is the petitioner in the lawsuit, argued that the city had known the park would be used by the NFL, but was unaware until recently that the filed would be used for the “media village” that would hold roughly 6,000 members of the media.

Work has already started on he construction of the “media village,” as sprinkler heads were removed from the field on Monday and a plastic tarp covered one of the fields on Tuesday.

Santa Clara City Attorney Ren Nosky stated that the city had a “contractual obligation,” and that prevented the issue from being subject to a public hearing. The city said the suit from the soccer league is “inadequate” because the San Francisco 49ers, Super Bowl 50 Host Committee and the Levi’s Stadium Authority went unnamed in the lawsuit.

The city wants a $25 million bond from the soccer league to “protect the city and NFL” if the judge eventually rules in favor of the soccer league. Nosky asserted that the costs could soar to $100 million if the NFL can’t use the park, prompting Gautam Dutta, who is representing the soccer league, to respond, “You’re asking for a $25 million bond from soccer moms and dads? Give me a break. This is not Apple versus Samsung. This is a community group that’s fighting for its rights.”

Photo: file